SEO Demystified

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 12.58.03 PMMuch depends on an organization’s ability to be found online by its search engine-using target audiences through search engine optimization (SEO), the Internet marketing strategy of improving a website’s ability to be found in a search engine’s unpaid search result listings. SEO is often considered confusing and mysterious, in part because search engines are secretive about their ranking methodologies. This research paper seeks to shed light on effective SEO techniques that are based on understanding and leveraging the primary functions of search engines. While dated, it still contains much relevant information about the SEO process.

For example, the foundation of effective SEO technique is to develop well-written, high-quality content that reflects the keywords that qualified individuals use to find your site on search engines. To accomplish this, you must first select keywords around which to develop your content. Search engines extract keywords from your content to determine its relevance to a given query. Selecting the right keywords can make the difference between getting found and not getting found online. In selecting keywords, you can start by making an educated guess at the keywords that individuals would use to find your information on search engines. Subsequently, you can test variants and track the effectiveness of different keywords in driving qualified traffic to your site.

In addition to integrating keywords throughout page copy, an important SEO function is to optimize your content by embedding the appropriate keywords in a website’s source code, including page titles, page headers, links, metadata, and image and video tags. Because search engines automatically analyze and index this data, source code should be proactively optimized to include keywords. You should also optimize content by ensuring ease of navigation on your site, which influences ranking, as well. For example, orphaned pages (those with no direct links) are uncrawlable. If a website’s architecture does not allow a search engine to efficiently index content, it will not appear in search results. Flawed site architecture will trump even the highest-quality content.

To read more, download the report.

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